Yes concert is always a great opportunity not only to experience beautiful music, but also to meet fans from the whole country (and even some foreigners who travel with the band across the Europe). The members of Yesomania (polish Yes fan club) had arranged meeting in a pub ‘Hektor’ (which is located next to The Palace of Culture and Science) before the show. We spent about half and hour chatting, drinking and sharing our expectations about forthcoming concert. Finally, we decided to move to Sala Kongresowa. I went totally mad when I noticed that there were some brand new T-shirts available. I didn’t hesitate to purchase one (what the hell, it’s my first original Yes T-shirt!), but I can hardly stop myself from any comments regarding its price. Well, at least it was cheaper than in America ;) The show started about 10 minutes before time and not everyone was inside while I was catching the first sounds of ‘Firebird Suite’. Unfortunately, this time (probably due to expensive ticket prices) Sala Kongresowa wasn’t completely sold out and one could notice some empty seats. Here are my personal comments about each song they played in Warsaw: Firebird Suite – it wasn’t as loud (and powerful) as it was last year, the audience was definitely too loud (with their standing ovation just in the beginning) for good, old peaceful Stravinski’s stuff – Yes may always expect such a warm welcome in Poland Going for the one – my first impressions was: ‘didn’t they forget to do a proper sound check?’, it didn’t work very well for me, the sound was just bad and muddy, I’d love to hear ‘Parallels’ or ‘Tempus Fugit’ as an opening track. Well, maybe next time... Sweet Dreams – a highlight of the show, definitely! This version is MUCH better than the original one on ‘Time And A Word’, I focused on Jon’s vocal and quickly realised that his voice is really getting better with age, hopefully the sound was quickly improved and in that particular track seemed very enjoyable. Happy Birthday to Jane – It wasn’t mentioned in the setlist, but Jon DID that well-known standard for his wife. I regret he forgot to mention he was going to do this – I’m sure if he did, the audience would sing along I’ve Seen All Good People – Yes, many good people were in Sala Kongresowa that evening ;) Jon simply cannot be wrong! The band certainly mastered this song many years ago but somehow still seem to find it fresh and entertaining, funny that during All Good People the lights almost completely went out, but guys didn’t care about it at all. Steve later told me: ‘That always happens when we play there’... Mind Drive – I must say I don’t like this song very much (though I used to very much), but it was a good choice to play something new from Keys to Ascension (at last!), just before entering South Side Of The Sky the band got lost a bit, however it wasn’t a disaster South Side Of The Sky – Another highlight! It works very well live! It’s hard not to mention about Rick vs. Steve battle in the end – impressive! Turn Of The Century – Well, studio version is practically impossible to beat in my humble opinion. Two little mistakes done by Rick (you should have seen Steve’s face then ;) and quite a big one by Mr Howe. Jon also confused the lyrics a bit. Nevertheless, the polish audience very warmly welcomed that song. Foot Prints – interesting short suprise, nothing more – didn’t sound much like a REAL Yes to me. Yours Is No Disgrace – Excellent version of a great song! Steve made some nice solos. The Meeting – I thought they would never play anything from ABWH. A very soft and gentle song for an opening of so called ‘acoustic set’ showed Rick and Jon both in a very good shape, nice choice! Long Distance Runaround – one of my favourite Yes songs was played differently, I was expecting something similar to what they were doing during Relayer Tour (Q.P.R.’75). Nope, that was different, but I liked that particular version. Wonderous Stories –
It was the second time I had the possibility of seeing YES on stage -it was the second time I was absolutely amazed by their performance. They are getting old - it is true, but their music and the way they perform it seems to be unchangeable. So much virtuosity, positive energy, pure love ... I liked most the last part of the concert, with an incredible versions of "And You And I" and "Ritual", this music gives you the feeling of pure happiness. The acoustic set was also very nice, giving the possibility of seeing the guys relaxed, making fun of each other. The atmosphere was great, musicians were smiling all the time, the audience was crazy about the music, the songs were beautiful. I wonder how many times we will be able to see them in the years to come (Anderson is already 60 years old!), but I could be coming back to their shows every year, every month, every day. The only thing that I regret that I couldn't see them performing with Bruford (I'm 26) and this probably won't happen, though who knows?
Oh, I loved every moment of this concert!
I already saw them several times in Italy, and I was very sad because this year they will come to my country when I will be in vacation, so... But you know, the strange twists of the fate: because of my work now I'm in Poland and, as soon as I saw the ads on the streets, I purchased my precious ticket and went to this great concert.
I had to say that I was surprised by the audience: in Italy, the Yes fans are normally 40-years old, but here in Poland I saw a lot of young people, with a 14-year old girl singing and yelling on my right: really unusual for me...
I appreciated a lot the first part: for me, "Going For The One" is a very good album, and they played two songs from it on this part of the show.
The second part really amazed me: "unplugged" versions of great songs (especially a marvelous version of "The Meeting", with Rick playing a mini-grand piano). A different way to listen to great classics, very refreshing.
And then, of course, the masterpieces: "Rhythm Of Love", "And You And I", "Ritual" and the audience went absolutely crazy, jumping and clapping and yelling. A strange behaviour on such a place like this, normally devoted to much composed classical shows...
The players were in a great mood: they joked and laughed for the whole concert, and the overall feeling was great! What else to say? Jon was as usual, with his marvelous voice and his love for everyone. It was the first time I saw Rick playing with Yes, and I liked him very much: he's a rocket on the keyboards! Some little mistakes from Steve, but he's such a great guitarist so, who cares! Alan and Chris, the usual powerhouse of the band: especially Chris, that was mightier than ever.
It has been really a magical night!
Generaly speaking the concert (as always) was great, but... I was dissapointed with the first part. To much 80's pop style tralala's, this is not the kind of Yes I'm a fan of. When it came to the brake I wasn't really satisfied. After the break They started making a much better impresion. The acoustic part was fun and (at least for me) a new experience. It was a bit funny watching Them playign on all that "small" instruments. Wakeman playing a mini concert piano, White a very small drum set. It was funny, amusing and refreshing, but still not what I came for. After returning to their "big" instruments They (in my opinion) played the best part of the concert. "And You and I", "Ritual", and a longer version of "Starship Trooprer". This showed that Thet still are great and can play vere neet music.
I could not stand the impression that the band is getting old. As for the "instrumental" part all was OK, but Andersons singing aint what it was earlier. I had the impresion that all was great when it was instrumental but got a bit crappy when Anderson started singing.
Reasuming - I had a great time, but was a bit dissapointed.
p.s. will there ever be an oportunity to hear Close to the Edge performed in the original line-up (at least without Brufford) - I hope so, and await it with eager.